Football: Shearer to be charged by FA

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The Independent Online
THE England captain, Alan Shearer, is expected to be charged with misconduct by the Football Association this week for the incident at Filbert Street last Wednesday when it appeared that the Newcastle United striker tried to kick Leicester City's Neil Lennon in the face.

Sources close to the chief executive of the FA, Graham Kelly, revealed that Shearer would be charged by the FA on Tuesday and be given two weeks to answer a charge of misconduct. However, a spokesman for the FA, Steve Double, denied the reports last night, saying: "It's pure speculation. The case is yet to be considered. The FA will make a decision on the case during the course of next week."

The referee Martin Bodenham took no action at the time of Shearer's alleged misdemeanour as it is believed that he was unsighted at the time. It is also thought that the charge will be made no matter what is contained in Bodenham's report on the match, which the FA have yet to examine.

Charge or no charge, Shearer will be available for Newcastle's FA Cup final against Arsenal on 16 May. The charge would, however, put Shearer into the spotlight for all the wrong reasons as the prolific scorer that all England will be pinning their World Cup dreams on has denied that he deliberately aimed a kick at Lennon.

Back on the field, Barnsley's incredible adventure in the Premiership is over. Favourites for relegation all season, the Tykes had to get something from their penultimate Premiership game, against Leicester at Filbert Street, but lost 1-0 when Theo Zagorakis, the captain of Greece, scored his first-ever goal for Leicester 12 minutes into the second half. Barnsley also had Jovo Bosancic sent off five minutes from time.

Danny Wilson, their manager, pointed to the club's disastrous start. "You're always chasing the game when you start the season as badly as we did... we never really got out of the bottom three for a significant part."

But Bolton Wanderers kept their Premiership survival hopes alive when they beat doomed Crystal Palace 5-2 at the Reebok Stadium. Palace were a goal behind after seven minutes when Nathan Blake scored, but were ahead within nine minutes when Dean Gordon and then Marcus Bent fired in spectacular shots.

Wanderers, however, responded with two goals of their own, through Mark Fish and Jimmy Phillips to go 3-2 up on the half hour. In the second half, goals by Alan Thompson and Dean Holdsworth secured the points as Bolton moved a point above Everton. Colin Todd, the Wanderers' manager, blamed his team's plight on injuries.

Everton are in desperate straits. This afternoon they play their game in hand, a small matter of delaying Arsenal's championship celebrations at Highbury.

Justice for Shearer, page19